If you have an interest in helping people recover from injuries or regain lost functions due to disabilities, you may want to consider earning a degree in Rehab Science. This educational program can prepare you to work with a variety of patient populations who have different conditions. To help you decide if this is the right path for you, this article will discuss what you can do with a Rehab Science degree, list eight impactful opportunities, and provide tips to help you choose a career.
What can you do with a rehab science degree?
Here are eight jobs that utilize knowledge from a rehab science degree. While it’s possible to attain some of these jobs with a bachelor’s degree, some may require further specialized study. For the most up-to-date Indeed salaries,
1. Case manager
National average salary: $39,295 per year
Primary duties: A case manager coordinates treatments for their clients. Case managers who have a background in rehab sciences often take on patients with disabilities, as they understand the specific health services these individuals may need. A case manager advocates for their clients and always prioritizes patients’ health and safety. When they aren’t meeting directly with patients, a case manager may collect data on different treatment programs to determine which ones are likely to be most effective for their clients.
2. Clinical research coordinator
National average salary: $39,635 per year
Primary duties: A clinical research coordinator leads medical studies related to rehab sciences. They facilitate a clinical trial’s tasks to ensure attention to detail and accurate methodology and delegate tasks to the appropriate people. Since many studies involve trial participants, a clinical research coordinator also screens participants for eligibility. Additionally, they establish research protocols and collaborate with different laboratories. Their goal is to discover ways to help people recover from the medical and personal challenges that different conditions present.
3. Design engineer
National average salary: $80,015 per year
Primary duties: A design engineer with a background in rehab sciences creates assistive products for people with disabilities. For example, they may create designs for prosthetic limbs to help patients who have recently undergone amputations. They may also create designs for products that can simplify daily household activities. An education in rehab sciences can help a design engineer anticipate the tools that patients may need and develop their ideas into usable products.
4. Occupational therapist
National average salary: $82,391 per year
Primary duties: An occupational therapist helps patients with illnesses, injuries or disabilities develop everyday life skills. They study patients’ medical history and observe their current condition to determine how to best help them complete everyday tasks. Designing treatment plans is a major responsibility of any occupational therapist, as the treatment plans include goals for the patient and methods for achieving them. An occupational therapist often collaborates with caregivers, especially if they work with elderly or younger patients. They may also recommend changes for a patient’s home, like rearranging items in a room to make the patient’s everyday activities simpler.
5. Physical therapist
National average salary: $82,606 per year
Primary duties: A physical therapist helps patient minimize the pain associated with illnesses, injuries or disabilities. They also help patients regain mobility in stiff or underused limbs. They may do this by helping patients use exercise bikes, resistance bands, treadmills and exercise balls to strengthen certain muscles and improve their range of motion. Not only does a physical therapist restore motor function, but they can also help prevent future injuries from occurring. A physical therapist may work with a diverse patient population including elderly and pediatric patients. They may also work in a sports setting.
6. Rehabilitation director
National average salary: $87,169 per year
Primary duties: A rehabilitation director is responsible for all of a rehab facility’s operations. They ensure that the facility’s occupational therapists and physical therapists perform their jobs to the best of their abilities. A rehabilitation director conducts regular audits of employees, trains new personnel, holds staff meetings and coordinates rehab services with the other medical services that patients receive. A rehabilitation director may even be responsible for marketing activities to promote referrals and introduce new patients to the facility.
7. Speech pathologist
National average salary: $91,864 per year
Primary duties: A speech pathologist assists individuals who experience challenges with verbal communication. They treat patients who have communication difficulties due to developmental disorders, strokes or cleft palates. A speech pathologist assesses each patient’s ability to speak and swallow. They develop a customized treatment plan for each patient, which may include muscle-building exercises and language exercises. Some of a speech pathologist’s main responsibilities are to create a patient’s goals and meet with them regularly to gauge their progress. When they aren’t with patients, a speech pathologist may perform administrative duties or discuss treatment options with other medical professionals.
8. Rehab RN
National average salary: $99,235 per year
Primary duties: A rehab RN helps patients restore their normal physical functions as much as possible. They set realistic goals and treatment plans depending on a patient’s condition and history. Once a rehab RN helps a patient meet their goals, they help them maintain the function they manage to restore. A rehab RN may serve as an advocate for a patient who isn’t able to make medical decisions for themselves. These professionals work in community homes, hospitals, inpatient rehab centers and private practices.
Tips for choosing a job with a rehab science degree
As you consider career rehab science career options, the following tips may be helpful:
Research education requirements: If you know the most advanced degree level you plan to pursue, research common jobs for rehab science graduates at that education level. Conversely, you can also research individual jobs of interest and note the education requirements for each.
Evaluate your interests: Rehab science degrees prepare students for careers in patient care, research and management. When developing you career path, think about how you’d like to specialize. This may help you determine which position you want to pursue.
Speak to working professionals: Once you’ve identified roles that interest you, practice networking in order to find someone who currently works in that role. You can then ask them questions about their daily work responsibilities, work environment and career satisfaction. This information can help you when making your own career decisions.